Korean firm chosen for R&D 100 Awards for CO2 innovation

Officials of Hanwha Power Systems and Southwest Research Institute pose after their supercritical CO2 engine technologies win the R&D 100 Award in a ceremony held at Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa in California on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Power Systems

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (UPI) — South Korean energy equipment company Hanwha Power Systems is among winners of the “R&D 100 Awards” for its achievement in carbon dioxide-related technology.

The innovation came from a collaboration with the Southwest Research Institute of the United States on a supercritical CO2 engine, a joint project carried out with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Supercritical CO2 refers to the substance’s fluid state, held at or above its critical temperature and pressure. According to Hanwha, the technology will allow for a very high-efficiency power cycle.

“Compared to conventional steam turbine system, the supercritical CO2 engine is much more efficient. In addition, it is more environmentally friendly because it depends on solar power rather than fossil fuels,” a Hanwha official told UPI News Korea.

“We continue to strive to attain a leadership position in the green, power generation market,” she said.

The company official said all the related tests to verify the new technology’s operability would be done by early 2024.

Hanwha, which operates an R&D center in Houston, noted that it marked the first time that a supercritical CO2 technology was chosen for R&D 100 Awards.

Established in 1963, the awards are among the most prestigious, known as the “Oscars of innovation.” The prizes aim to identify the top 100 revolutionary technologies of the past year.

Southwest Research Institute CEO Adam Hamilton said the technology would benefit mankind.

“I’m very proud that this work has been recognized as one of the most important innovations of the year,” the Texas-based institute’s chief said in a statement.

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